Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | A total of 800 health workers are being recruited to participate in a COVID-19 vaccine study in which the researchers will access their knowledge about the vaccine.
Prof. Pontiano Kaleebu, the Executive Director of Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI), the agency conducting the research told URN on Friday that the study is happening at two sites, in Masaka and Entebbe. After this phase, they expect to be able to tell what local knowledge base is being created about the vaccine with concerns of using Africans or Ugandans as guinea pigs already lingering.
It’s after this study that they will embark on an actual vaccine trial which is planned to be tried among 90 participants. They will be testing safety and ability to produce an effective immune response against the SARS COV 2 virus that spreads COVID-19.
Kaleebu says the plan is to do a self-amplifying RNA vaccine testing, the same as the one being tested in London by the Imperial College whose first patient was dosed early in June. Here Kaleebu says participants will be followed up at a trial site in Masaka whereby they will initially give participants a low dose and will increase over time while assessing safety.
However, the self –amplifying RNA vaccine is developed using a technology that once the RNA is injected into the muscle of a person, it’s able to multiply, generating more copies of itself and thereafter instructs the body’s own cells to mimic the spike protein found on the outside of the coronavirus which the virus uses to enter human cells. This scientists say should train the immune system to respond to the virus so the body can easily recognize it and defend itself creating protection.